SOME INTERESTING QUESTIONS
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE GARMENTS OF GLORY AND
QUESTION.--Was there any significance in the fact that the High Priest, after having performed the services of the Day of Atonement, took off his linen garments in the Holy and left them there and put on garments of glory and beauty when he came forth to bless the people?
Answer.--The High Priest all through this Gospel Age is carrying on the work of sacrifice; it was not only when he offered up himself, but during all this age he continues to be the sacrificing Priest, and although he has passed beyond the vail, he is still, so to speak, in the linen garments of sacrifice; and his secondary offering, that of the antitypical goat, will be accomplished in the linen garments, when he will enter in beyond the vail and present the blood of his Body, which is the Church, at the close of this antitypical Atonement Day, when the Church shall have filled up its share of the sacrifice of Christ. Our Lord, the High Priest, will then, the second time, sprinkle the blood, the merit, upon the mercy-seat, thereby sealing the New Covenant and applying his merit on "behalf of all the people."
Having done this he will come forth to bless the people; but he will not again appear in the linen garments of sacrifice. The change will be made unseen to the world. The last they will see will be the going in of the priests after the sacrificial work of the present time, the Gospel Age, and the first they will see in the New Dispensation will be the appearance of the great Priest in glory and beauty--in "the glorious garments." Not that they will see these with their natural eye; but his glory shall be revealed through the ministration of the New Covenant blessings to Israel and the world, and this revelation of all the glorious things represented in the various garments of the High Priest will be a manifestation that will last all through the Millennial Age--the various robes, the ephod, etc., will all have their fulfillment then in the glorious work of the Anointed One.
The beginning of this manifestation in glory will be in the time of trouble, of which time we read: "All shall wail because of him." It is his manifestation in power, the breaking in pieces of things of this present order of affairs, that will cause the great time of trouble that the Scriptures announce will be the conclusion of this Age and the inauguration of the Millennial Age. Thus the appearing in glory will have various stages, but all will be on the glorious plane; none will be again on the sacrificial plane of the present age.
In this picture of the robes of the Priest we understand that the High Priest typified the entire Priesthood, the Under-Priests as well as the Head; that the Head did not need the covering, but that the covering of the linen garments represented the merit of Christ imputed to us, the members of his Body, whom the Father accepts and justifies and whose imperfections are covered through him. We understand that the white robe represents especially our share in the picture; that the High Priest going forth in glory typifies in large measure the glory of the Church in connection with her Head, as we read: "It doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is." Another Scripture declares that we shall be his glorious Body, or his Body in glory, and that "we shall be glorified together with him."
WOMAN THE GLORY OF MAN--THE CHURCH THE
GLORY OF CHRIST
Question.--In the Scripture which says that woman is the glory of man, is the intimation conveyed that the Church is the glory of Christ?
Answer.--We understand it is. We are not to understand
by this, however, that woman is the glory of the
man in the sense of being more glorious than the man;
nor that the Church is the glory of Christ in the sense of
being more glorious than Christ; nor that the Son is the
glory of the Father in the sense of being more glorious
than the Father; but we do understand that the Father
is especially glorified in the Son because of the closeness
of the relationship existing between them and because
of the honor that the Father has shown the Son.
Similarly Christ will be glorified in the Church because
the wonderful glory that will be manifested through the
Church will be a reflection of the glory of Jesus--all as a
result of the Father's grace through him.
[R4602 : page 137]
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF COALS FROM THE ALTAR
Question.--What is signified by the Priest's taking coals from the altar and using the same for the offering of the incense in the Holy?
Answer.--We see that the fire used in all three of these different places represented our Lord's dying, or death process. The fire outside the Camp represented the destructive influences which came against him and caused his death, as viewed from the world's standpoint. The fire in the Court represented the same destructive influences that came against him and caused his death, as viewed from the standpoint of believers. To those outside the Camp the burning of the flesh and hide and hoofs and horns had a very evil odor, bad odor. To those that were inside the Court the burning of the fat--it was practically all fat in the sin-offering that was offered on the altar at this time--represented that which is not a bad odor, as the burning of fat does not give off a bad odor when burned under proper conditions and circumstances, as it is almost all pure carbon. As has already been suggested, the fat would represent the love and zeal which would characterize the sacrifice. In a lean animal there is very little fat; in a fat animal there is much fat to be put on the altar and correspondingly would augment the zeal, the flame, with which it would burn. But entirely aside from the burning of the fat and of the animal outside the Camp is the fact that fire was used to start this flame of sacred love and self-sacrifice.
The coals of fire upon the altar, that which caused the burning of the fat, would not seem to represent anything that our Lord had or did, but rather experiences from the ordinary affairs of life. Wood doubtless was used on the altar, as we read in some places, and the glowing embers from this fire upon the altar were taken inside the vail to constitute the basis of the offering on the Golden Altar, the offering of the incense. This shows, therefore, that the fire was of the same kind in all three of these pictures --wood-fire that burned the animal outside; wood-fire that burned the fat in the Court; and wood-fire or coals of fire, that burned the incense upon the Golden Altar.
What does fire here represent? We answer that, as usual, fire represents destructive influences. Was there anything peculiar about these destructive influences that would mark them as separate and distinct from many other destructive influences. Our thought is that the fact that they are connected with the altar and were typified by the fire which burned only on the altar, implies that they were destructive influences which were connected with the sacrificing; not the destructive influences which might come against mankind in general, as disease, or war, or famine, or pestilence, or from some other such general source of fire, trouble, destruction, but rather here a sacrificial fire, sacrificial influence, something connected with what was being offered; therefore such adverse influences as would be of the Father's appointment and for the very purpose of accomplishing this test or sacrifice; as our Lord expressed it, using another figure: "The cup which my Father hath poured for me, shall I not drink it?" It was not the Jews that poured that cup for him; it was not the Pharisees that poured that cup; it was not the Romans; it was not the people nor the hypocrites; it was not the scribes that poured that cup; but it was the Father who provided the cup.
We would understand, then, that all these coals of fire represent those classes of circumstances and conditions which the Father provides for the very purpose of proving the character and the loyalty and the genuineness of our devotion. Carrying the coals into the Holy would thus seem to identify those two altars as expressing to us in symbol or type that the spirit of devotion which believers see consuming the sacrifice that is voluntarily offered to the Lord and which, while in line, in harmony with righteousness, is not commanded by the Divine law, is the sacrificing principle which is so acceptable in God's sight. It was in harmony with this, therefore, that our Lord offered up himself, in the sense of crumbling the incense upon the fiery coals. Thus day by day he laid down his life, allowed himself to come in contact with these experiences, which served to destroy his earthly nature and sent forth a sweet fragrance to God. It was not any and every tribulation, as before intimated, but simply those which the Father had provided and were connected with his sacrificial experience.
SWEETENING OF THE WATERS OF MARAH
Question.--What typical significance is there in the fact that when the waters of Marah were found to be bitter, and the Children of Israel had no water to drink, Moses caused a certain tree to be cut down and thrust into the stream, and thus sweetened the waters?
Answer.--As a result of Adam's sin there was nothing permanently refreshing for God's people to partake of. Those who desired to be his people, those who left the world behind them, found a great deal of unsatisfaction, if we may so express it, from the provisions of the law, which brought only condemnation. In due time, however, God caused the death of our Lord Jesus, and through or by means of his death--through the message of the ransom sacrifice--those who drink of this fact, this water, will not find that brackish taste.
We might say that it would not be unreasonable to consider that there is a correspondency of this at the present time. During the Dark Ages the water of life [R4603 : page 137] became very much polluted, and, as a consequence, undesirable. When we came to the waters of the Lord's Word and found that they were brackish and impure, nauseating, not wholesome, the Lord in his providence showed us more clearly than we have seen in the past the great doctrine of the Ransom, the reason for the cutting off of our Lord Jesus in death. Here was the manifestation of Divine Love and Mercy. And since we have realized this truth; since the truth has come in contact with and purified the message of the Dark Ages, we can partake of it with refreshment and joy.
We may not know if this was intended to be a correspondency, but we can at least draw some lessons from it, the lessons being true whether the matter was intended to be thus applied or not.
SOME TYPES OF THE RESURRECTION
Question.--Since the Lord arranged very many types during the Jewish Age respecting the Gospel Age and the future, what would you consider the most important type of the resurrection?
Answer.--If we consider this question as relating especially to our Lord we see a number of types that very forcefully illustrate his resurrection. The one our Lord mentioned should be classed as amongst the most important, for two reasons: First, because he mentioned it and thus gave it prominence, and second, because it and it alone of all the types gives the exact length of time of his entombment. Our Lord's words were, "As Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the fish, so shall the Son of man be three days and nights in the heart [R4603 : page 138] of the earth," thus indicating that his resurrection would be on the third day and that he would be brought forth from the grave as Jonah was brought forth from the belly of the fish, which he styled "the belly of hell," the grave, sheol, the hades condition.
It would appear, too, from the Apostle's words, that we should give prominence to the picture of our Lord's resurrection as shown by Abraham's receiving Isaac as from the dead, when he had already consecrated him to death and was about to slay him, the Lord staying his hand and giving him instead another sacrifice.
We are justified also in supposing that the "wave-sheaf" offering was a very prominent illustration or type of the resurrection of our Lord, particularly because it occurred just at the time which marked the day of his resurrection, the morrow after the Sabbath, the fiftieth day before Pentecost. This was apparently given to illustrate the raising up of our Lord Jesus as "the first-fruits unto God," "the first-fruits of them that slept," "the first that should rise from the dead." It, therefore, is a very beautiful picture. See Lev. 23:10,11,15,16.
If we think of the types of the world's resurrection we see a variety. As has been suggested, the crossing of Jordan might be considered a type of the passing out of the death condition into Canaan beyond. The Jubilee, the restoration of every man to his former estate, is certainly a wonderful picture of the "times of restitution of all things," of the lifting of humanity up out of sin, degradation and death, out of their lost condition, and bringing them back to the former estate, full perfection of the human nature.
We would be fully justified, we think, in considering as types the miracles of our Lord in awakening some of the sleepers--Lazarus, Jairus' daughter and the son of the widow of Nain. These were given to us as foreshadowing, and therefore in a sense as typifying or illustrating the resurrection.
Another picture of the resurrection, not only the awakening, but also the raising up of mankind, is shown in the end of the Day of Atonement. When Moses had received the blessing for the people as a result of the second sprinkling of the blood, he came forth, and, lifting up his hands, blessed the people. The people were waiting in dust and sackcloth and sorrow because of sin, and now the blessing of Moses and Aaron, the Lord's blessing through them, signified the removal of that curse and the uplifting of the people--their raising up from sorrow to rejoicing in the Lord.
----------[R4603 : page 138]
JOYFUL IN TRIBULATIONS
"ESTEEMING THE REPROACH OF CHRIST GREATER
RICHES THAN THE TREASURES OF EGYPT."
When we consider all thy goodness, Father,
Thy gentleness, thy tenderness, thy grace,
Our hearts stir with the mighty impulse
Thy praise to show in every time and place.
That all our outward life might show thy praises;
That other souls might know how good thou art,
And that our every thought and word and action
Might show our heart, like thine own perfect heart.
Thy sons, indeed! and when thy face, O Father,
Seems turned away, and we are chastened sore,
We thank thee for thy love so true and faithful
That scourgeth whom thou lovest more and more.
We praise thee, since in all thy gentle dealings
We see thy glory and thy beauty shine,
And in each act of thine we read so clearly
The sacred, holy peace of love Divine.
But, Father, more than all for this we thank thee--
For privilege to serve and suffer still,
As did our blessed Lord and holy Master:
Our sacred joy, since 'tis thy sacred will.
Thus, Father, spare us not; let fall the death stroke
Of pain and suff'ring that our flesh must see.
But give us grace that in the sharp ordeal,
Our hearts may yield sweet perfume unto thee.
We glory in our fleshly tribulation:
No joy of earth is sweet as pain for thee.
If pain for thee is sweet, what is the measure
Of Kingdom joy, our rapture soon to be!